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The multiannual financial framework discussed with the Finnish Prime Minister
During the working visit to Finland, President Gitanas Nausėda met with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne and Speaker of the Parliament Matti Vanhanen.
At the meeting with the Prime Minister of Finland, the President expressed Lithuania’s position on the EU agenda as member states actively discussed the multiannual financial framework and their opinions on the level of funding for strategic policies differed. Since Finland holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU, the President took the opportunity to remind of Lithuania’s position on the size and allocation of the EU budget. The President said that Lithuania was prepared to pay an adequate contribution to the EU budget for it to achieve 1.11 percent of the gross national income (GNI) for the funding of cohesion, agriculture and other programs.
The President emphasized that Lithuania considered the proposed cuts in cohesion and agricultural policy payments unacceptable and added that insufficient funding could slow down the implementation of strategic infrastructure projects in Lithuania and the Baltic States, including Rail Baltica and synchronization of the power grid with continental Europe, reduce economic competitiveness of the region and its added value for the Community, as well as Lithuania’s sustainable development prospects. In the view of the President, adequate funding of these priority areas was necessary to ensure regional development in our country and create a level playing field for the EU farmers. The President highlighted that the EU budget must be fair and balanced.
As to the ongoing debate on the mobility package, the President said that Lithuania did not support the currently discussed measures that would create less favorable conditions for carriers in peripheral countries, violate the environmental requirements and hinder the strengthening of the single market.
When discussing climate change, President Nausėda noted that Lithuania was determined to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and added that EU transition to the green economy should only be achieved through sustainable, innovative and environmentally friendly technologies.
At the meeting with Matti Vanhanen, Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, the President discussed the agenda of bilateral relations and expressed delighted over the establishment of the Eduskunta interparliamentary group for relations with Lithuania in September as well as efficient and effective cooperation among the eight Nordic and Baltic countries (NB8).
It was agreed to intensify cooperation in innovation development, in the EU Horizon research program, and look for opportunities to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure projects such as Rail Baltica and gas interconnection projects. Regional security issues were also discussed. It was agreed to join forces and focus more on the prevention of hybrid threats and cybersecurity issues and enhance NATO’s partnership in these areas.
The leaders exchanged ideas on relations with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and touched upon the priorities of the Eastern Partnership policy, including opportunities for joint implementation of development cooperation projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
During the visit, the President laid a wreath at the Hietaniemi Cemetery to commemorate the victims of World War II, the Winter War as well as the Continuation and Lapland War. The President also met with the Lithuanian community in Helsinki.
The President‘s Communication Group
Photos: Robertas Dačkus / Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania